BELTRAIDE Introduces Entrepreneurship Development Project Mar 20, 2013 


Belizeans who have skills in specified areas but don’t yet have the financial support can now tap into that kind of funding through a National Entrepreneurship Development Project.  Introduced today by the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE, and the Centre for the Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises, or CENPROMYPE for short, the program will provide a budget for six million US dollars for the region, 860 thousand dollars of which is earmarked for investment in Belize.  CENPROMYPE is a regional organization that promotes small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurial programs.  Belize’s Executive director of BELTRAIDE, Nick Ruiz, now holds the presidency of CENPROMYPE since Belize holds the presidency of the SICA sub-committee for the development of micro, small and medium size enterprises.  He says that Belizeans stand to gain much from this particular venture.  


” It means that we can now centre on our agenda as to what we would like to see for the development of small businesses and entrepreneurship in the region. You are seeing, with this program  for example, that Belize is going to get $874 000 for the development of entrepreneurship through small businesses in Belize. We want more of that technical assistance, more of that financing that is coming via CENPROMPYPE via Central America for Belize. So it means a lot, Marion and we are already formulating our strategic plan for the next two years and we will propose that on Friday at the board meeting in San Pedro for CENPROMYPE and we are proposing six main things. The first one being that we must always adhere to what our Heads of State and Government here in Belize accords at a SICA level; that is the point of departure first and  foremost.  Secondly, we are supporting the Mesoamerican entrepreneurship strategy and various different other initiatives, for example, DSVDC component that you see is starting here in Belize; we want to make sure that not only Belize City is fantastic, we want more in Belize City but certainly, the municipalities get to have a small centre as well. So with us as presidents we want to make sure that those items are foremost on the agenda, at the regional level and that we can get the support, whether it’s financing or otherwise to make sure that we can realize those things at home.”


“Now all that sounds good but how does it translate to the man in the street, who does have talent, who does have little skills but remains unemployed because he does not have the financial support?”


“You know what I have found out from the Colombian experience is, and I hope that you can stay here with us today, is that you will need to create a culture of entrepreneurship  and that is one of things that I proposed that we centre on here in Belize. The culture of entrepreneurship, what does it take to be able to realize your business idea and to do that successfully, financing is also a barrier and this program brings, as I said some seed capital for that but  it’s not everything ok, so we want to be able to learn from the champions, the leaders in entrepreneurship, innovation, in all those areas that we need to work on and transfer it home.  Yes, big investments  are coming into the country but we want to also focus on the other side,  the other variable in the equation which is the small businesses, maybe you have had a business idea is to ensure that you can realize and make that business idea a reality and we want to make sure that all Belizean that have a small business, can get the access to financing, can get the support, can have that ecosystem and that’s what we are creating right now, that ecosystem will enable you to be a success story.”

Meanwhile CENPROMYPE’s Executive Director, Ingrid Santamaria, told Love News that the regional program is taking a particular focus at women. 


” We are promoting the Integral Development Program of Entrepreneurship in Central American and Dominican Republic,  response to the presidential mandate because they’ve indicates to implements the regional SME agenda.  CENPROMYPE’S will lead this agenda.  We are going to validate the regional strategy for entrepreneurship and this particular case this initiative has the support of the Presidential Agency for the International Corporation of Colombia. This very important because it is the first time that the Central American Countries and the Dominican Republic had a regional tragedy. We expect to make it work two thousand entrepreneur and also two thousand and fifty initiatives with thirty five new businesses led by women.  The programs total three millions US dollars of which approximately sixty percent of the funds will be use to seek capital for the regions .”


The program is open to people throughout the length and breadth of Belize.  People can take their proposals for funding to BELTRAIDE’s office in Belmopan.  The funding for this regional program came from Taiwan.